Samurai Rising talks about Yoshitsune's short lived violent life as a samurai, with the battles he won, the carnage he, his soldiers and other roaring rival families unleashed on each other and unsuspecting peasants and villagers. This book touches on the violent history of Japan, political intrigue in the Japanese government and court life, as well as what honor meant to the samurai.
Samurai Rising also talks about seppuku, an honorable form of Samurai suicide and how it began with the Minamoto family, and the lasting influence it had on other samurai.
This book is informative without being incredibly boring and dense, Turner was able to lay out the history of Japan and the samurai in a way that didn't feel like you were getting a dusty old history lesson. Turner made it interesting for the reader to learn about what 12th century life was like for Yoshitsune and other samurai. It was also a fairly quick read, and Turner included supplemental information for the reader (glossary on terms with pronunciation tips, author's notes, etc.).
This is a great book to read, if you've already read Heart of a Samurai. You will be warned, however, that this book isn't for the faint of heart and you'll want to watch your head when reading about the samurai.
Check out Samurai Rising at your local library: